About Us

BMSF - About Us

UNSW has been a centre of mass spectrometry since the 1960s, with the School of Chemistry and School of Physiology and Pharmacology (Medical Sciences) pioneering the development and application of this technique. 

The Bioanalytical Mass Spectrometry Facility (BMSF) is part of the Mark Wainwright Analytical Centre (MWAC). The BMSF brings together advanced mass spectrometric equipment and expertise to enliven and support medical, biological, as well as molecular/macromolecular research.  The BMSF's upper and lower campus laboratories provide access to advanced instrumentation, expertise and training for UNSW, national, as well as international research groups.

Staff at the BMSF are recognised experts in mass spectrometry and its growing analytical applications. We engage in projects with many scientists, engineers and clinicians, leading the development of research enabling mass spectrometry based methods and technologies.


The Bioanalytical Mass Spectrometry Facility (BMSF) is part of the Mark Wainwright Analytical Centre (MWAC) which falls under the Division of the Deputy Vice Chancellor of Research (DVC(Research)).

The BMSF is governed by a Board made up of the DVC Research (Chair), Deans of Science, Medicine and Engineering and the Managing Director of the Mark Wainwright Analytical Centre. The Board is advised by the Analytical Centre Management Group (Managing Director, Directors and Managers of the Analytical Centre Facilities).

The BMSF is also advised by a Reference Group of users who provide feedback towards maximising capability and accessibility of the facility.



Australian Research Council Linkage Infrastructure, Equipment & Facilities (ARC LIEF) Partners

A major part of the BMSF's equipment funding comes under the ARC LIEF National Competitive Grant Program. Large grants under this program are usually applied for jointly with other Australian institutions who seek to collaboratively share major equipment. Partners in these grants gain subsidised access to ALL BMSF equipment and usually engage in collaborative research projects with staff at the BMSF.


National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy (NCRIS) and Bioplatforms Australia

The BMSF worked with partner facilities as part of the National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy (NCRIS), receiving funding from the NSW Government to enable a formal connection with NCRIS through Bioplatforms Australia (BPA), the entity that managed NCRIS activity in the priority area of Evolving Biomolecular Platforms. This was an extension and expansion of earlier links under the Major National Research Infrastructure (MNRF) program in which the BMSF was a node of the Australian Proteome Analysis Facility (APAF).

The BMSF worked with BPA as a node partner under the Proteomics Australia platform: a national, critical mass consortium of expert proteomics practitioners based on a hub-and-spokes organisational model to develop Australia’s synergistic and complementary proteomics capabilities by providing world-class infrastructure and services.




Operational Funding

Operational funding is raised on a no-profit basis from course and access fees and UNSW's Research Infrastructure Block Grant (RIBG). This covers salaries, maintenance, consumables, small equipment etc. Budgets including operational funding are approved through the governance structure of the Mark Wainwright Analytical Centre within the Division of the Deputy Vice Chancellor for Research.

Cost Recovery & Course Fees

All users of the BMSF contribute to the full operational costs of access to instruments and training via an access fee. This is usually based on hours of instrument time used and a rate. UNSW infrastructure funding contributes to this cost for all UNSW based or UNSW affiliated researchers. Courses and teaching provided by the BMSF generate income which contributes to the operational budget.

Funding for Major Equipment

Equipment for mass spectrometry is costly and keeping the equipment up-to-date leads to a substantial capital budget. This is currently sourced from programs such as the Australian Research Council Linkage Infrastructure, Equipment & Facilities and other infrastructure funding (ARC LIEF) program and the National Health & Medical Research Council Infrastructure. Such programs usually involve a matching funding commitment from one or more institutions that will benefit from the equipment. Typically, institutions contribute 25% to 50% of the cost of major equipments under LIEF with the major contributor being UNSW. NSW Government Infrastructure Funding may also have contributed to this cost. Partner institutions who contribute to MS equipment located at UNSW receive substantial access benefits applicable to all BMSF equipment.